Through Vegas and Home Again

I got home the other day…. kind of.

Blasted out of Long Beach at an early two pm and headed east. It took until the last couple days of the trip to realize that I could set the tripod up on the front passenger seat and get footage of the highway and scenery. Some neat footage was captured but I missed L.A. with its interwoven multiple clover leafs and double and triple layer highway systems. We’ll see how it all turns out in the final edit.

I pulled into Las Vegas and parked a block from the all naked cabaret club called Pussycat’s and checked on the open mic that was to happen at The Bikini Bar. “Yes,” the bikini clad bartender told me, “there is an open mic tonight. You gonna hang out or come back?” I decided to come back.

In the city of sin, sinning is still encouraged. For the ten people in the bar I am pretty sure there were twelve cigarettes burning. Smoking is still permitted indoors and it felt as if everyone there was aware that a large percentage of the country doesn’t allow that anymore. “Smokin'” Joe set up the mics and cables, stools and ashtray table on the stage and played a couple tunes. Then it was my turn. I figured since this was the last one I would go all out and sang four songs! I hit them with my new intro, “I’m a farmer from western Colorado and I’ve got some a cappella farmer music for you” then “we’ve WON!”, I followed that with “Ask Them to Leave” and went straight into “Grey Haze” just as the smoke machine punched out a huge billow over the flashing lights behind me. I left them with “Stand”, sat back down and listened to Wayne sing a couple Neil Young songs before I headed out the door and continued north and east.

Looking at the map I missed the fact that I would cut the corner off Arizona on my way to Utah. It’s amazing how much extra work thirty miles is when you were expecting to stop. I safely pulled into a rest area so full of trucks that I had to reverse back through the parking lot to take one of the only accessible car parking slips before snuggling into the cramped sleeping quarters of the back of the car.

The next morning I made some homemade instant refried beans and rice to go in a tortilla with cheese and California (also bought in California) greens. It was not long after the intersection with I-70 that I picked up K hitchhiking with his dog Karma and we drove together all the way home. They stayed the night in the cold room, then, first thing my first morning home we all packed into the car and headed to Montrose to rally in front of the BLM office to ask them not to lease away clean air and water to the natural gas companies. K continued hitching south and we were off to soak in the natural hot springs of Ouray for the night… now here I am, finally home. Tomorrow, back to work at the restaurant.

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